Monday, 3 October 2011


The past two years have whipped past, leaving major changes in their wake.

Sadly, amongst the changes – Bear, my daughter's father, died. This unique man saw me through radical changes over many years and remained one of my oldest friends. There are no words to fully express the enormous gap his absence leaves in many lives.

Lyricist Robert Hunter says it best in the closing lines of “An Anthem for the Bear”:

“No bucolic Heaven for such as Bear,
rather a Rock of Ages from where
an eagle in full flight might dare
a sudden detour into endless dawn.
Sail on, dear brother Bear, sail on.”
Robert Hunter
March 20, 2011

Life has a way of taking away with one hand and giving with the other. Just to keep some balance in life and to remind us of the joy in living: four grandchildren appeared! Three grandsons (including a pair of twins) and one granddaughter. Am I stretching the term grandchildren? as strictly speaking, we don't all share genetic relationships? In matters of the heart and family, yes, I do claim them all as grandchildren and count myself very lucky.


I could wish for the extra energy that flows in younger grandmothers, but instead I'm learning to recognise my physical limits and appreciate whatever time I get to spend with the grands. Two of them live on another continent. And that limits our involvement in their lives. Internet helps bridge the gap.

Even our home is undergoing changes. We now live with the sound of blasting at the newly reopened mine three kilometres (1-1/2 miles) behind us. Already the sky glows all night long in that direction as they work round the clock, although mine management assured us at a public meeting that the mine would only run between 6am and 10pm. Likewise, the blasting was to start in mid October. Their first blast occurred 26 September. They said they would only blast at 2pm. The most recent blast occurred at 4pm.

Between grandchildren and mining, our quiet solitude and dark night skies may be a thing of the past. We remind ourselves to count our blessings.

by M in JaM

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